December 6, 2018
Tokyo--Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has proposed Russian President Vladimir Putin visit Japan next summer during the World Judo Championships in Tokyo, an aide to Abe said Wednesday.
At their meeting in Argentina last week, Abe invited Putin, who holds a judo black belt, to view the event slated for Aug. 25 to Sept. 1, Koichi Hagiuda, executive acting secretary-general of Abe's Liberal Democratic Party, said on television.
In 2019, Putin is expected to visit Japan to attend a Group of 20 summit in Osaka in late June. If he accepts Abe's proposal, he would travel to the Asian country twice in a short span.
Hagiuda said Japan will face Russia in the opening match of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, which will take place between September and November.
"There'll be an opportunity for Japan and Russia to have close contact," Hagiuda said.
"I believe the prime minister will prepare himself to achieve big progress next year," Hagiuda added, showing strong expectations for positive developments in the two countries' territorial dispute over the four Russian-held islands off Hokkaido. Jiji Press
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